Antidote 11 User Guide

User Guide / Introduction


Why Antidote?

Language is an organic whole. From glyph to sentence, from page to novel, a remarkable amount of knowledge, reasoning, and emotion comes into play. Typography, lexicon, syntax, grammar, semantics, style and rhythm – all these and more are called on to contribute. And each comes with its own set of rules, conventions and pitfalls.

Harnessing the power of the computer, we sought to bring together the great reference works on the English language: dictionaries covering definitions, conjugations, synonyms and more, as well as guides that cover grammar, style, typography and punctuation. Moreover, we wanted to create a tool that would put this wealth of information into practice: a corrector.

This ambition gave rise to Antidote, now in its eleventh edition.

All of Antidote’s science, extended to English starting with Antidote 9, has been available for French since the very conception of the software. Antidote is now catered to those who use French or English for pleasure, work or learning.

In creating Antidote, we wanted to make the treasures of the English language and the French language available to as diverse an audience as possible. Naturally, this involves shedding light on their difficulties, but above all laying out all the richness of the languages. It is our hope that Antidote will help you find the joy in language.

This introduction offers a brief overview of the principles that govern the operation of Antidote and the content of its many resources. The chapters that follow provide a more detailed description of how each of these functions.

The four key values of Antidote

Antidote 11 is the result of over 25 years of progress in language engineering, underpinned by the four key values that first forged its reputation: consistency, scope, simplicity and accessibility.

Consistency. Antidote is a one-stop, multi-resource platform for anyone who writes in English, including an advanced corrector, a set of rich dictionaries and detailed language guides. These resources aren’t just pasted together; they are carefully designed to complement one another and interact intelligently to help you explore every aspect of a language question. Individually, each of these resources rivals the best in its category. Together, they are simply unmatched.

Scope. The resources in Antidote have some impressive figures to offer: 121,000 words, 820,000 combinations, 1.6 million synonyms, 8,500 verbs, 16,000 targeted errors and much more. This all adds up to a real treasure trove of information. Each resource comes with a host of useful functions, such as the 250 filters in the corrector and the many search modes in the dictionaries.

Simplicity. All the resources appear in just three windows. Each window clearly lays out the functions with minimal buttons, complemented by all sorts of clever, handy options just when you need them. The result is a simple, quick and effective correction process. Antidote is powerful but clean and easy to master.

Accessibility. Antidote is accessible directly from your document with a simple mouse click or from a menu. You’re busy writing, something nags you: you just click and Antidote comes to your help. It’s like having a language expert living inside your computer.

Main new features of Antidote 11

With this eleventh edition, Antidote celebrates its 25th anniversary, and this respectable age brings important changes.

The editor’s interface is completely revamped and focuses all your attention on the text by reducing side panels and toolbars, and expanding margins and line spacing. In the vein of minimalist text editors, you can even eliminate all decoration and focus only on your text and Antidote’s diagnostics. Antidote becomes simpler to use and more elegant, without the slightest loss of power.

The analyzer lays the foundation for neural correction, using deep learning to suggest the insertion of certain missing words as well as certain commas. These promising first steps will be at the heart of the evolution of the analyzer over the next editions. Complementing these innovations come myriads of improvements in analysis, patiently crafted by the natural intelligence of our computational linguists.

The new semantic fields filter reveals the main themes of a text. The new linguistic search sheds light on a word and its inflections, synonyms and semantic field in the text. New types of wordy constructions are detected, and the readability filter assesses the overall readability of the text. In many cases, tooltips offer reformulations and the option to apply them in one click.

With its 215 English settings, Antidote was already quite adaptable. But Antidote 11 goes further than ever. You can now save custom presets that adapt your diagnostics to various writing contexts. You can even create custom rules, triggered by chosen words or phrases, to help you, for instance, spot difficult, sensitive or important words, or to correct systematic errors from an external source, such as dictation software or character recognition. These personal detections are clearly highlighted in purple in the corrector window.

The optional synchronization service increases its efficiency: in addition to personal and favorite dictionaries, it shares hidden alerts, new personal rules and custom presets between all the devices on which Antidote is used.

Smishing, cleantech and non-fungible token are among more than 5,000 new words added to the English nomenclature along with 80,000 combinations. And all these words, their variants and inflections can now be heard with a Toronto or London accent: in all, more than 500,000 forms pronounced in English (with subscription). A new dictionary of rhymes and near-rhymes brings search power to the quest for the ideal rhyme or the smoothest assonance. Prepositions can be clearly highlighted in the definitions, to help you pick the most suitable preposition. Tens of thousands of examples have been added to this end. English guides now have more than 500 articles.

In total, Antidote 11 offers more than 100 new content, functionality and interface innovations. They make this edition a stronger and more comprehensive English working tool than ever.

The optional French module benefits from the same interface improvements as English, and receives several specific new features. Its nomenclature grows by 3,000 words, such as monosourcil, écoanxiété and vaccinodrome, along with 30,000 synonyms. All words, their variants and their inflections can be heard with either a Paris or Montréal accent, for a total of almost 600,000 pronounced forms (with subscription). Those who have both languages can now consult 100,000 additional translations, for a total of 2.7 million translations. As for the guides, they have reached the respectable figure of 900 articles.

We invite you to discover Antidote, now in its 25th year and our greatest vintage yet – whether in French, English, or the winning combination of both languages.